Melvin is a 3-year-old boy and the third and last born child in his family. His father is a security guard at local gas station and makes a humble income. To supplement his earnings, Melvin’s mother does laundry and farming for their neighbors. Occasionally, she’s able to sell some farm produce she gets from their small farm.
When Melvin was born, he was not able to breastfeed. After some referrals and unsuccessful treatments, Melvin went to the national hospital and was diagnosed with Hirschprung disease, a birth condition affecting his digestive system. He had several surgeries to correct the condition, which were fortunately covered by his family’s National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) coverage at the time.
One of the surgeries Melvin underwent was a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Melvin’s case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications.
However, to undergo the colostomy closure at the national hospital, he and his mother had to take COVID-19 tests, which were too expensive for their family. Fortunately, a family friend referred them next to our Medical Partner’s Care Center BethanyKids Hospital, where doctors conducted tests and scheduled Melvin for the colostomy closure. Melvin’s family normally has NHIF coverage, but they have depleted their yearly surgical allocation so this procedure is not supported. Melvin’s parents appeal for financial support for their son.
Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $650 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Melvin. The surgery is scheduled to take place on April 27th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently.
Melvin’s mother shared, “We have been through a lot with Melvin and stopping now is not an option for us. We would like Melvin to live a healthy life just as our other children but our financial state has been a big hindrance for us.”